Saturday, August 06, 2005

Bombings, Leakers, and Lobbyists

[[M I S C.]] * Today marks the 60th anniversary of the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. That event destroyed more than half of the city and killed 45,000 people on the first day (with up to 19,000 more dying in the subsequent four months). However, it also brought a quick end to the United States’ war with the Japanese empire. In his wonderful 1992 biography, Truman, David McCullough writes of President Harry Truman’s exultation at receiving news that the bombing had gone off as planned. “This is the greatest thing in history,” Truman declared. In the decades since, “Give ’Em Hell” Harry’s decision to carry out that destruction, and to follow it up three days later with a second A-bomb drop on Nagasaki, Japan, has been seriously debated, with latter-day opponents often derided as “pacifists” or “revisionists.” Those same six decades have engendered still more concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Both George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been accused of weakening global restraints on the development of nuclear armaments. (The Bush administration currently endorses the funding of “bunker busters,” nuclear bombs capable of destroying “enemy” facilities deep beneath the earth’s surface.) And now, of course, there are fears that rogue states or terrorists might unleash devastation upon the world to match what America did in August 1945. In Salon, Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), talks about how nuclear bomb technology may have reduced potential violence in the 20th century, but how easy it would be for terrorists to increase violence in the 21st century, using that very same technology.

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In only somewhat less ominious news, The New York Times reports today that Karl Rove’s role in leaking the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame harkens back to another leaking incident, this one from 13 years ago. According to the paper, in 1992, “Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.”

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Finally, with the Bush regime’s obsessive, Nixonian secrecy leading the news media to depend increasingly on “sources close to the White House,” The New Republic offers up an insiders’ guide to the swelling ranks of these anonymous informants--“lobbyists, congressmen, ex-officials, and other hangers-on who seem to be programmed into every cell phone on the White House beat.”

1 comment:

Vern Robichaux said...

Where can I to learn abt it in detail?